Posts Tagged ‘polymer cane tutorial’

Bead Baking Rack Tutorial

June 5, 2011

I am getting ready for an opportunity to really work with clay for about a month and am very excited about it. I have been busy getting a long to do list ready with a lot of eye candy and some great tutorials. I have also been trying to get supplies that I will need for said projects as I remember I need whatever it is that I need. While thinking of the fact that I would be working with more beads than I usually do I realized I really needed a bead baking rack. I have used tins, boxes, bottles, anything you can think of to hold the bead piercing pin with beads on it while baking or coating with a finish without much success.

Do you know that those suckers are expensive? To get three would cost me about 70.00. Do I need three? No but it sure would be nice and I can see myself having three full of beads in various stages of finish. My next thought was that I could make them out of the metal pieces I purchased while trying to make cutters. The cutters turned out real nice by the way :).

Okay now I am getting off track…….. I needed bead baking racks and I had some lightweight sheets it should be easy and you know what it was. Enjoy the bead baking rack tutorial I know I do I got racks baby!



Wire Cutters



Permanent Marker

Bead Pins


Step 1

I used 5X7 Aluminum  Flashing if you use a different size your measurements will be different. I am not sure what this is for exactly but you can get it at home depot where you find the ductwork.

Step 2

Here is a blank sheet as you can see on the package you need to be careful of the sharp edges.

Step 3

Mark 1 inch segments along the length of the sheet at the very edge.

Step 4

You will have 6 marks.

Step 5

Place another mark right at the end.

Step 6

Repeat for the other side.

Step 7

You want to make sure that the marks on this side of the aluminum sheet match up with each other. These marks are what the bead pins will sit on so you want them to be even.

Step 8

Turn the sheet over so you have a blank sheet again to mark on.

Step 9

This time you will mark 1 inch in on the sheet. See how this mark is different from the last one you made?

Step 9

Continue marking all the way down this is for you to gauge the heights of the sides of your rack.

Step 10

Repeat for the other side.

Step 11

Now you will want to take your pliers and move them to your mark starting at the very end. This picture was taken by me sitting the camera on the table and taking it. I tried not to get another set of hands to help me in the realization I need to figure out how to take good pictures when I need both hands. So I started in too much on this picture and left it in to help teach you what not to do.Step 12

Continue folding in moving up the length of the sheet. You want to make sure that you see the marks you made on the inside of the tray. I gave up and had my son help me with the next few shots. I think he did a great job. I know the way I have my hand bracing the sheet looks very dangerous but I found it helped me to get a good fold if I held it in my hands and not on the table. I did not even cut myself once but please please be very careful remember the metal can be very sharp.

Step 13

Finish folding the first side.

Step 14

Repeat other side and you get something that looks like this.

Step 15

Remember these?

Step 16

Using sharp cutters cut a small triangle in each mark on both sides being careful not to cut off an end when working close to the edges.

Step 17

Here you can see some of the triangles.

Step 18

Reshape the tray so that the sides are standing up straight.

Step 19

Place bead pins in each of the cut outs to make sure that this thing really does work. Reshape as needed being careful not to unshape an area you just got right.

Step 20

As good as it looks its naked so I had to get some beads. I thought about making some real quick out of a scrap cane sitting on the table but decided against it as I would start making beads and forget the finishing of the tray. So here are some that I really like.

Step 21

Do it all over again and make another tray because the package came with 10. You will have baking racks AND racks for finishing if you make enough.

That was fun. Next week some of the things on my to do list complete with links and lots of eye candy!

Ugly Cane Makes a Cute Flower

March 13, 2011

Is this my best flower cane? No but I was finally able to sit at the clay table and I will take what I can get lol. Spring is almost here and I felt like making a flower cane. So when I was finally able to sit at my claytable I opened the drawer where I store my conditioned Kato and I found this cane that was a mistake I made while working on a color exercise from the Color Inspirations book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

Instead of making a new flower I decided to use what I had to make a new flower. I have learned in the past that a cane that you may not like by itself takes on new life when combined or reduced in a new way. So I started reducing and combining and came up with this.

Add a little silver fill in and viola you get a sexy flower cane.

Once reduced I was able to make some beads, a new ring ball for my interchangeable ring, and some Pandora style beads.

The only setback was the time it took to put the individual cane slices on the beads. Then I remembered that if I cut them and left them the way they were it was easier to apply on the bead then if I had laid them out on the table.

One of the other things I was surprised at was how little cane waste I had.

Once I have more time to sit and play I really think I will be happy with the decision to move to Kato Clay. I love the way it works and with the clay softener and the food processor it is so easy to condition the clay now. I wish I  would have made this decision a long time ago.

Even though you may not have a lot of time to devote to your art it is so nice to sit down at the clay table and create even if it is using up old canes that you have messed up on. From an ugly cane you can get a beautiful flower if you have the time and patience!

Get up and go clay!

OMG Kato

October 17, 2010

This is an experiment that I did last year to see what would/could be done. As you can see there was no real caning involved in this but rather the focus was to see how many ways the cane could be combined to make different ones!

I loved this experiment and wanted to try it again. One of the things on my to do list has been to try it but to do it with Kato. This week was time! I took all the Kato I had in the house and decided to use it for this project. So I am using clay that has been sitting UNDER my table for at least two years because I had the conditioning fear.

I am having technical difficulties with my camera again this week so any pics this week are from my phone, and all of the ones I took while making this with my camera can not be accessed. Freeken technology biting me in the butt again this week but at least this time they are on the bleeping camera I just can’t get to them!

I have heard of two ways to condition Kato and one of them is to pound the heck out of it with a hammer. So I spent an entire evening pounding the heck out of it with a hammer.

Two of the colors did well but the others did not they were very crumbly when I went to run them through the pasta machine. I then decided that I would throw them in the food processor ( I have one dedicated to clay). After another evening this time spent processing and adding diluent to the clay it was soft and pliable. I laid it out on my surface rolled with the roller and then ran through the pasta machine. INSERT ROLLED PIC HERE WITH PROCESSED IN THE BACKGROUND    Agghhhh

I then took the clay I had and tried to make some different looking canes with my limited colors and clay. I was very impressed at the crispness of the lines in the simple jelly roll and bull’s-eyes. This led to me mumbling to myself about how great this was going to be once finished if the lines in the stinking jelly were sexy.


 I then began assembling the cane remembering what I learned from last time. Air and or space is not your friend. Sounds crazy but if I say any daylight I removed the cane and inserted a log to fill. NO AIR OR SPACE. It makes sense that if there is any air then clay is going to go to that empty space and cause distortion no matter how small the space is. So I took my time and inserted the smallest of logs to fill in.

I then started to reduce. I will not go into the reduction but let others teach you (links at the end of the tutorial) not only about reduction but building as well. The first link is the first Kali cane I ever tried.

I began reducing and it got so big I ended up with two halves. One of the other things that happened to me while reducing is that the middle did not move for a while so I had a lot of ends that looked good but were missing detail. One of the things I was so impressed at was the crispness of the Kato look at these lines they look so nice!

Once combined the cane looks amazing! I am saving the final cane for December as I have decided to include this in the upcoming swap. But here is an end piece combined that still looks amazing. Under it you can see the cane with all the parts there and if you look real close you can see the distortion and missing elements.

 I can not wait to show you how the swap items turned out and even more I can not wait for the swap participants to get part of this wonderful experiment!

Have fun claying and any Kato tips you may have would really be appreciated. I have so many questions in mind.